Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What we have been up to

I didn't realize how long it had been since I updated out blog!  We have been so busy the past few weeks, and the weekends have been packed with everything we wanted to do during the week but never had time for!  A couple weekends ago we decided to pick a place and go see what was there...  We found a fun little shopping area with all kinds of touristy shops and some restaurants.  We had been looking for one that was supposed to have a good kimchi luck finding it but we did find kimchi pancake!!!!!  Paul is never too sure about anything as spicy as kimchi so we also ordered a leek and seafood pancake...we both ended up liking the kimchi pancake more (the leek one was also very good!)!
That weekend we also adventured out to Itaewon for some antique furniture looking, there were so so so so many shops!  It really was a bit overwhelming so we needed a great mean afterwards...and we got it!  Some of the best sushi I have ever had at Rolling in Sushi!  I would give up a lot of things to eat that sushi...and I didn't even take a picture of it, but I did remember to take a picture of the wine...very different from what I am used to.  It was good but VERY strong and it tasted similarish to Moscato. 
I have to say I have become very spoiled when it comes to food lately...I have lunch and dinner cooked for me at the school and whenever you go to a restaurant here the main course comes with lots of different sides, and costs much less than meal would in the U.S.  The food at the school is all organic and so amazing!!!!
This was my snack while I practiced Korean!!!!!!!

This post seems to be jumping from one thing to another so why not add another funny random thing...  Paul and I got a mirror for our house.  I love mirrors and couldn't wait to get it up (still can't wait)!  Well who knew a mirror could be so difficult to hang, an hour and half and 11 holes in the wall later the mirror is still sitting on the floor...  We did get it right once, but it was upside-down.  But to be fair it was 9pm before we started and we had spent 4 hours on the subway (another funny story) and 3 hours gardening...maybe that justifies why it took us so long to not hang a mirror?


Monday, March 14, 2011


This past weekend was wonderful!  So much so I forgot about work until Sunday night...which is both good and bad.  It was a great break, but I ended up needed lots of help from Paul today so I could do my science experiment.  He was so wonderful because he had to go find play dough, and something to make a volcano...I know it doesn't sound hard, but when your in the middle of a huge city with no supermarket close it is very difficult.  He found everything and my students were able to learn about volcanos!
Anyways, this weekend we were able to explore Yongjae Flower market in Seoul.  It is about 6 stops from my house, but when you walk into the green houses it feels like a world away!  There were thousands and thousands of orchid plants in the two green houses we went into.  Honestly it was a bit overwhelming.  We had to take a break for lunch half-way through our trip, so we went to a traditional restaurant where you have to take off your shoes and sit on the floor.  Let me tell you I LOVED it!  It was so relaxing to take my shoes off and just sit down and enjoy a meal...not exactly sure what we ate, but it was pretty good!
Paul had to carry the flowers all the way through the subway!
It made it home safely! 
I love looking at it every time I come come!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

So so blessed!

I had to write this blog entry now while I was feeling inspired... It's from my iPhone so there may be some mistakes which I apologize for now! But this flower cafe (floriat) is just too cute! And sitting here mad e me think about all of the wonderful experiences I have had! I have been to the Dominican republic, Mexico, costa rica, Korea, and soon Ireland! I have tasted some of the best fruits, coffee, chocolate, kimchi, and now my taste for teas is expanding! I may only be 20 years old but because I was blessed with such a loving family I have also been so blessed to have visited so many very different places! Sure, there are many other 20 year olds who have been more places, but it's not the places that make traveling so special. It's the people. Everywhere we go there is something that can be learned both about ourselves and others. Every culture expresses things differently, but in every culture there is love. Because without love for others there would be no common bond, there would be no culture. So while I could talk all day about each individual culture an how they are different I think it is more important to say remember how they are the same. the greatest expression in the world is to love others. So while it is so easy to see how others are different, remember everyone needs to be shown love. Without it what is there?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Finally I get to Unpack!

After living in a temporary apartment for 10 days, I can not tell you how excited I was to move into my apartment and be able and unpack all of my clothes!  But, at the same time I was nervous that my place would not be as nice as I had wanted.  I LOVE IT!  It is a 10 minute walk to the school, and about a 5 minute walk to the subway!  The only bad thing is, in Korea very few apartments have ovens...Koreans don't bake!  Then again maybe it is a good thing because I won't be eating brownies and cookies...or I will just find a good bakery!

This is going to be my garden room!
and I thought I was done with little beds...
My kitchen!!!!
This is what you see when you walk in!!!

I am supposed to be getting a dresser either today or tomorrow and then it is going to be shopping for my apartment time!!!!  I have some really great ideas of what I would like to do with the place!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Jal Mok-Uht-Son-Ni-Da

I did it!  I managed to eat lunch and dinner with chopsticks and only dropped a minimal amount of food on the table...and my lap!  Now I have to talk about what I had for dinner.  It was all very good!  I especially love the KimChi (the director of the school makes it herself), but there are things that I only have to guess what they are...  When I eat dinner, I eat with the ladies who cook the food, the director and her husband, none of them speak English well, so no one can explain what something is...unless I just want the Korean name of the food.  This may be a good thing because today I was eating meat, and there were these olive shaped, brown-grayish colored pieces on the plate...NOT olives, I think maybe a liver from some animal?????  Honestly I have no idea!  It wasn't bad, just different and I think I liked it...I'm not sure I am brave enough to ask what it was.  There was also a pudding looking dish in the middle of the table...NOT pudding, it was egg!  I do not think I will be able to learn to like the egg dish.  I finished the day in the cafĂ© below my apartment enjoying green tea ice cream.
Today was a much better day.  I think I have completely adjusted to the time change and I am getting to know the other teachers at the school better, or at least we are more comfortable around each other!  They are teaching me a little Korean each day, today I learned Jal Mok-Uht-Son-Ni-Da, this is thank you...but it is the thank you you say after you finish eating and you say it to the person who made the meal.  Talk about a phrase that doesn't translate easily!  I also learned Jal-ga which is an informal goodbye.  


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Welcome to Korea

The past 3 days have gone by so quickly!!!  My flight was not nearly as bad as I expected, and the food was very good!
This picture didn't turn out as well as I had hoped but it was my lunch on the plane...yes those are instructions that came with it!

Once I got off the plane I was welcomed to Korea by Paul and a Korean driver who spoke no English!  Little did I know that the next few days would be filled with many more people would speak just as little English...  But we were dropped off at an apartment (where I will live until March 9th).  This apartment is equivalent to what I was living in in College, but the director of the school seemed to think it is terrible.  I can't wait to see what my new apartment is like! 
My first day in Seoul Paul and I walked around for a few hours just looking at everything.  There are PLENTY of coffee shops here!  I am so grateful for all of them, there is something about drinking a cup of coffee that is very comforting to me!
Yep, the menu is in Korean... if you look really confused they give you an English one from behind the counter!

Now, about the school I am working at...OMG it is the nicest school I have ever seen!!!!  Even knowing that I was going to be living in one of the most affluent parts of Korea, I NEVER would have dreamed of anything like this!  I won't be able to convey how nice the school is without pictures but I will try.  You walk into a gate where a sign is posted that reads "Little Ivy A School For Trilingual Children," then go up child sized stairs.  Once up these stairs you are in a green lawn area with exotic birds in cages.  You go in the door and take your shoes off in the mud room, here there are all kinds of flowering plants and a HUGE orchid bush.  The floors are a light colored wood and all of the walls are very cheery, pastel green.  The corners of the doors are padded so the kids won't slam their fingers in the door, the tables and chairs are also a light colored wood and the perfect size for young kids.  All of the doors have windows with a big, playful star in the middle.  There is a library with over 100 English books, plus books in Chinese and Korean!  In between the library and a classroom is the Directors Office (she is always dressed perfectly!).  Past her office are the stairs to the second floor.  My office is towards the back of the school right before you get to the kitchen.  I have a lovely white desk with plenty of draws and cabinets.  In the kitchen there is always coffee and green tea ready to be made (no paper cups either, the tea cups are clear glass, and don't forget the saucer!).  The school provides lunch and dinner for the teachers.  Today we ordered food...I don't remember what everyone got, but I had bulgogi soup.  Everyone shares the sides.  I also learned the sauce on Kimchi is used on many other foods as well...if it is red it is the same sauce!  It was so delicious.  I have got to learn how to use chopsticks, because the forks here are tiny!
We got done with work early today and I have been studying lesson planning all evening.  I have successfully (I hope) planned 3 lessons for the two and three year olds, and 3 lessons for the four year olds.  Oh, here is something that can confuse a person like me, Korean age and American age are different!  My American age is 20, my Korean age is 22, this is because when you are born in Korea you are already 1...not sure where the other year comes from though.  
Back to lesson planning for me!